Ryder Cup: Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick out late in singles as Europe face an uphill struggle to retain.

Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Fitzpatrick
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Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick could play a vital role in a potential Ryder Cup triumph for Europe - if their team mates can rescue a dire situation against the United States.

The US team established a 9.5-6.5 lead heading into the Sunday singles matches after winning the Saturday fourballs session 3-1 at Hazeltine National.

The Americans need to pick up just five points from the 12 matches to win the Ryder Cup.

Sheffield duo Willett and Fitzpatrick have been fielded in the later singles matches by skipper Darren Clarke.

Willett is out in match ten against Brooks Koepka at 6.43pm (GMT) while Fitzpatrick is in the final match against Zach Johnson at 7.05pm.

A disappointing end to a tight fourballs match for Willett and Worksop's Lee Westwood last night saw them hand the US a point.

Their match against JB Holmes and Ryan Moore was all square heading to the par three 17th but they gave away the hole with a lack of touch on the green.

And despite being in a good position on the 18th, they failed to claw the deficit back and lost the match.

It means neither Willett or Fitzpatrick have yet to pick up any points on their Ryder Cup debuts.

Fitzpatrick lost his Saturday foursomes match alongside Henrik Stenson 3&2 to US duo Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka.

The same duo beat Willett and Martin Kaymer 5&4 in the Friday afternoon fourballs.

Rory McIlroy will take on Patrick Reed in a mouthwatering first singles match after European captain Darren Clarke opted to put his best players out first on Sunday.

Clarke had little option after seeing his side lose three of the second day's fourball matches at Hazeltine to trail by three points heading into the 12 singles.

But the holders could at least take encouragement from having overturned a four-point deficit at Medinah in 2012 as they sought to secure an unprecedented fourth straight victory.

A fired-up McIlroy - who called for a fan to be ejected after suffering some foul-mouthed abuse - was in superb form on Saturday in securing a third straight win alongside rookie Thomas Pieters.

However, Reed arguably played even better with six birdies and an eagle in the final fourballs match alongside Jordan Spieth.

Open champion Henrik Stenson was sent out second against Spieth, with wild card Pieters taking on JB Holmes in match three.

Rafa Cabrera Bello and Spain's Sergio Garcia faced Jimmy Walker and Phil Mickelson respectively, with rookies Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Willett and Fitzpatrick filling four of the last five matches.

Fitzpatrick was in the last match against two-time major winner Zach Johnson, but Europe faced an uphill task to get the contest that far.